Iranian president off to Turkey, to discuss Syria and Iraq

Photo: Iranian president off to Turkey, to discuss Syria and Iraq / Iran

Baku, Azerbaijan, June 9

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has left Tehran for the Turkish capital city of Ankara for a two-day visit at the invitation of Turkish President Abdullah Gul.

During his visit, Rouhani will hold meetings with Abdullah Gul and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to explore ways of boosting mutual relations and discuss important regional and international issues, Iran's IRINN state TV reported on June 9.

Rouhani is heading a high-ranking delegation, which includes foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, minister of culture Ali Jannati, oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh and interior minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli.

Rouhani's visit is the first official visit of an Iranian president to Turkey since Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's trip to Ankara in 1996.

Before leaving Tehran, Rouhani said during a press conference that boosting bilateral ties with neighbouring countries including Turkey is a priority for his administration.

The president went on to underline that his administration is pursuing the issue of expanding relations with Turkey since he took office last August.

"Mutual economic ties in the fields of energy, oil, gas and electricity will be discussed during the meeting," Rouhani said.

The two sides will sign a number of political and security cooperation agreements as well as agreements in economic, tourism and cultural cooperation, he added.

Rouhani will also attend the first meeting of a joint committee for the high-level strategic cooperation, which was set up during Erdogan's trip to Tehran earlier this year.

Alongside with the bilateral issues, the two sides will also discuss regional issues.

Syria is going to be one of the most important topics to be raised, during Rouhani's visit to Turkey, as well as the latest developments in Iraq.

Turkey and Iran have different views about the Syrian issue, with the latter notable for being one of the most important supporters of the Bashar al-Assad's government in Syria whereas Turkey supports Syrian opposition.

"Important regional and international issues as well as latest developments in Syria and Iraq will be discussed with Turkish officials," Rouhani said, prior to his departure.

Iranian media outlets reported that Rouhani and Erdogan discussed the Syrian crisis in January during the Turkish prime minister's visit to Tehran, but both countries have stuck to their positions.

Follow us on Twitter @TRENDNewsAgency